A video featuring a group of severely disabled musicians performing music using only their brains is getting renewed attention more than a year after the 9-minute clip was first uploaded to Vimeo — and when you watch it, you’ll instantly understand why.
The video features an incredible performance from the Paramusical Ensemble, a group comprised of four individuals who can’t speak or move freely. Their performance is a feat made possible through brain-computer music interfacing systems — systems that integrate technology with human brain activity.
The four people featured in the video are each seen wearing rubber caps that are connected to the brain-computer system, with the technology affording them the ability to select musical choices using only their brain waves, according to the Good News Network.
In fact, they can select notes, speed of music and volume without speaking, based solely on their interactions with the computer screen in front of them; they are then partnered up with musicians who can physically play the tunes for them. Fusion explained how it all works in a recent story:
As EEG technology measured activity in the visual cortex of the brain, they chose between four different musical phrases displayed on a screen as flashing lights. Their choice was then sent to musicians manning actual instruments who played them.
The Paramusical Ensemble’s performance in July 2015 was captured by two filmmakers who produced a mini-documentary on the project. The video footage shows the group performing a musical piece called “Activating Memory” at Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability in London, England.
Watch that incredibly moving performance below:
According to BBC, the hospital teamed up with the Interdisciplinary Centre for Computer Music Research at the University of Plymouth to develop the amazing technology behind the music project. The hope is that this technology will also help with other forms of communication for those who can no longer speak due to a variety of neurological problems.
The benefits thus far have been encouraging.
Consider that, over the past year, numerous outlets have featured the story of Rosemary Johnson, one of the members of the Paramusical Ensemble. She’s a 50-year-old woman who suffered a serious brain injury during a horrific car crash in 1988.
Johnson hasn’t played the violin in 27 years since losing her speech and motor functions, but this technology came to the rescue and offered her new hope to exercise her love of music, Metro reported.
After nearly three decades without playing her beloved instrument, Johnson had her brain linked to a computer and music software. And after partnering with a musician, she was able to focus on colored lights to select notes and change compositions. Seeing Johnson reunited with music left many of the researchers and professors in tears.
Find out more about the innovative research here.
Other Must-Read Stories: